Looking Forward, part 2 – Other good Standard decks by Liam Casserly

dead warriors attack through a sand storm

Looking Forward, part 2 – Other good Standard decks

The Top 8 decks always get the most scrutiny, but we shouldn’t ignore the rest of the field – especially when the set of Magic has shown us how quickly the metagame can shift week to week. Let’s have a look at a few of the other decks that did well in the Pro Tour Magic Origins.

We didn’t see much of the Collected Company (CoCo) decks on the coverage, but they are still good. They were the flavour last weeks before GP and they are chock full of great value cards.

GW Aggro

This has been a solid deck since before Origins dropped, and the additions it got were pretty good. Green/Black is also a path you could go down with this strategy. Collected Company just so happens to hit the new Origins planeswalkers. I didn’t see anyone doing this at the Pro Tour, but I’m sure it was happening. Hitting Nissa, Vastwood Seer or Liliana, Heretical Healer seems like a great bit of value, especially as you can do it in response and flip her straight away as something dies.

This deck has value written all over it. With all the enter-the-battlefield effects this deck feels like a loaded weapon ready to go off. Unfortunately, just like a firearm, it is very dangerous in the hands of the untrained. If you are going to play this deck I suggest you put in the practice. It can sometimes feel like there are few too many lines to play.

Green/White CoCo will be out in force in the next few weeks at Competitive REL events. Not quite the same deck, but the straight up Green/White Aggro deck did very well in the hands of pro player Brian Kibler. This somewhat highlights my point. A player of his calibre can go 9-1 with a deck that he feels comfortable with over a deck that is designed to be a step ahead of the meta.

a dragon with blue and red feathered wings and clasped hands stands on a frozen roff of a temple in snowy mountains

Esper Dragons

My son has been playing Esper Dragons for the last few months. He really likes the deck, but he tells me that he feels it’s just sliding a little bit. Looking at the deck I can’t really understand where it’s losing out, it seems very strong in quite a few match ups, but it just doesn’t seem to have that shine that it did after the last Pro Tour. If you come up against this deck, I suspect that your opponent has been playing it for a while now and they are comfortable with the interactions and they have decided that knowing the deck is better than jumping to the next “best deck.” I would classify this deck as still a threat.

UW Heroic

There was no way this deck was going to make it onto coverage. Nearly every version of it I have seen has zero Origins cards. If literally any other deck even had a shot of getting into the Top 8 or another one of those storyline narratives like Player of the Year or clinching Platinum could be put on instead, that was going to happen. It’s not a great loss. We should know what this deck does, it’s been around for a while now. The one thing of note with this deck is if the meta runs to Green Devotion, then this deck gains a lot of advantage. This deck could be the one that snipes the meta if the shift is large enough. Have this as your backup deck if you’re off to a GP in the next few weeks.

Abzan Rally

I’m sure there was quite a few players who were absolutely gutted that this deck had such a great showing last week at the GP. Now I’m also sure that the teams would have found this deck and made a note of it, but with it winning last week’s SCG Standard Event it made a lot more teams take their preparations for it much more seriously.

If you’re not familiar with the new tech for this card, Rally the Ancestors, it’s rallying for 5 mana and bringing back all your 3-drops in the graveyard. Mogis’s Marauder and Nantuko Husk are key parts of the combo. The first one gives your creatures haste and intimidate and the latter sacs all the other creatures to itself and gets bigger. It’s a good deck but like all combo decks it can just not happen. However, this is a fun way to kill your opponent, so it will attract players who like to do things like this. I don’t quite think it will gain a massive following, but it is something to put in your gauntlet.

a sphinx with its wings sproden sits on a floor of an empty tunnel-like corridor

UR Sphinx’s Tutelage

This falls into a similar category. Milling isn’t for everyone. This deck is fairly strong and in my opinion it has more going for it than the Turbo Fog version. Someone will be out there right now refining this deck. They will be bringing it to the GP and you might just get caught out by it. I don’t expect this to do as well outside of the top players. It just isn’t good enough, especially if the world at large decides that they want to play the Pro Tour winning Red deck.


It’s a little bit sad that the best constellation cards weren’t in Theros block. However, because Origins revisits several planes, we are able to get our hands on some of the best enchantments cards from there. Starfield of Nyx had the obvious potential when we first saw it, but not many players felt like it was the card to draw them into the deck. Herald of the Pantheon however starts the mindthinking through all the iterations of this deck. It snuck onto the coverage and got to show what it can do but only briefly. As an FNM player I would like to run this deck. If I was going to play at the GP, I think I would look elsewhere for inspiration.

This isn’t an exhaustive gauntlet, it’s just my pick of decks that are out there. There were a few other rogue decks at the Pro Tour and even more at FNM.

Community Question: What do you think is the best deck to be on in the next few weeks?

Thanks for reading,

Liam Casserly

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